Grow Asia Hackathon 2018
Leveraging data to help smallholder farmers thrive
GA Graphic Banners_Web Banner.png

Leveraging data to help smallholder farmers thrive

In the same way digitisation will transform and disrupt many industries, it has the potential to dramatically change the way 100 million smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia manage their plots and crops. 

In Indonesia, oil palm cultivation has become important to rural livelihoods, particularly amongst smallholder farmers (“smallholders”). The focus of this Hackathon is independent smallholders, who have a significant role in the expansion of oil palm cultivation onto marginal lands or those not officially zoned for agriculture, and thus are a growing driver of deforestation and the resulting loss of biodiversity and increased greenhouse gas emissions. 

Thus, helping these smallholders access information, credit and services and adopt sustainable production practices not only delivers improvements to their livelihoods, but can also result in more sustainable outcomes.   
At this Hackathon, we consider and explore how the data that is already collected by various ecosystem actors can be used to achieve better efficiency and productivity, and demonstrate how data sharing can be done at scale.  This will accelerate Grow Asia’s path to create a positive impact for 10 million farmers by 2020.

Grow Asia

Established by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, Grow Asia brings together companies, governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders to help smallholder farmers improve their production and livelihood through access to information, knowledge, markets, and finance.



Data sharing

Many companies are addressing the issue of “traceability” - collecting, recording and analysing data on the the plantations, the farmers, and the middlemen in the immediate area around a mill. If ecosystem actors can appreciate the value of complementary data and the incentive to share their data, new partnerships will benefit smallholders.

How might we design a data application or platform and an appropriate business model for the mutual benefit of the ecosystem actors as well as the smallholders? Read more.




Smallholders are often too small for commercial banks and too large for micro-finance schemes. They do not have credit history and cannot supply reliable management information to access finance. Their only option is to access informal credit, which comes with high interest terms and short tenure.

How might we devise a new credit scoring mechanism for banks or commodity buyers extend credit based on smallholders’ data? Read more.



Low productivity is a key factor leading to smallholders growing larger areas of under-productive oil palm rather than intensifying production. Training and technical assistance in agriculture inputs and real time information, will increase smallholder productivity and efficiency.

How might we provide the right information and training to smallholders, so they become more productive and efficient, which in turn aids the sustainable intensification of their plantations. Read more.




Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) must be delivered to a mill and processed within 48 hours after harvest before significant yield loss. Smallholders who do not have their own means of transport rely on local traders or the closest mill and are subject to unforeseen weather conditions.

How might we improve the timeliness of information and coordination of transportation options, so smallholders can make informed decisions? Read more.

Why You Should Join

GA Graphic Banners-16.png

Learn about the issues surrounding smallholder farmers and palm oil cultivation, and make a difference!

GA Graphic Banners-17.png

Build your very own data-enabled solutions to help farmers boost productivity, profitability, and sustainability.

GA Graphic Banners-18.png

Win cash prizes and a chance to be featured
at the prestigious Grow Asia Forum!


1st prize S$5,000      |     2nd prize S$3,000     |    3rd prize S$2,000   |   Special prizes 2 x S$500

Each prize will also be matched by an equivalent amount of Ocean Protocol Tokens!

Upcoming Events


Pre-hackathon Workshop

Get a head-start on the challenges and gear up for the hackathon! Get an overview of the palm oil ecosystem, and start a conversation with key stakeholders. Learn about the challenges smallholders face - who will be joining us. Also, meet other entrepreneurs and innovators you can collaborate with at the Hackathon.

This Workshop is not mandatory but highly recommended if you want to get a better understanding of the key issues and to have a discussion with the stakeholders.

Thursday, 12 April
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm


Grow Asia Hackathon 2018

Design and prototype your own solutions to help smallholders boost productivity, profitability, and sustainability! Consult with expert mentors, including industry experts, and get their perspective on your solution. 

Startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprise teams are welcome to participate. If your startup is not based in Singapore but you would like to find out how you can be involved, please send us an email:

Friday, 20 April
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, 21 April
9:00 am – 9:00 pm


Pitch Day

Present your solution to our judges! Pitch your idea to an expert panel and invited guests from the corporate, NGO, and government sectors in the Southeast Asia ecosystem to gain support for further development of your solution and make it a reality!

This event is for participating Hackathon teams and invited guests only. If you would like to be considered for an invitation, please send us an email:

Monday, 23 April
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

By invitation only